Ways to Obtain your Liquor License in Dubai

The emirate of Dubai is a part of the overall UAE and is a Muslim country that follows Islamic sharia law. In Islam it is strictly forbidden to purchase and consume alcohol. That being said Dubai is the 8th most visited city in the world which makes it a tourist hub from travelers all over the world who are non Muslim. The UAE authorities tolerate drinking alcohol as they know it is one of the most popular activities of a large number of expatriates on that reason alone the UAE has set up stringent rules and guidelines for purchasing and consuming alcohol.

It is not like London where you can purchase alcohol at your nearest super market, or like Montreal where you can purchase alcohol from any corner store. Purchasing alcohol in the UAE is only allowed at certain locations that have permits to sell it. Sports clubs, hotels, bars, fancy restaurants are allowed to serve alcoholic drinks inside their premises. Independent restaurants do not serve alcohol. You can purchase it in almost every emirate of the UAE except for sharjah. In sharijah the selling, consuming and possessing of alcohol is strictly prohibited and fully punishable by law if caught.


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    Purchasing alcohol for personal consumption will require you to obtain a license. The license will allow you to spend a small percentage of your salary per month to purchase alcohol from one of the two licensed companies in Dubai. Both companies have dozens of branches in and around Dubai.

    - African and Eastern ( AnE )
    - Mercantile Maritime International ( MMI )

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    Applying for your license. If you’re applying with your companies authorization you can do it from AnE or MMI. For expatriates who wish to apply for a liquor license, they will have to submit an application along with all required documents at any branch of the AnE or MMI.

    - Once the application form has been completed, stamped and signed by the employer and applicant you can begin purchasing from AnE and MMI. If your company is registered in a free zone you will also require additional approval from the free zone authority. You cannot apply for a liquor license if your company does not support its employees consuming alcohol. The liquor store will process your application through the Dubai police on behalf of the applicant. Processing time can take up to 21 days or three weeks.

    - Married Couples. Only the husband can apply. The wife is allowed to apply only with a written agreement from her husband if both her and her husband are non-Muslim and are also allowed to share one liquor license. The wife's details will be uploaded in the card chip upon applicants request. It will also require a passport copy with residence visa page, as well as a color photo. The wife may only purchase alcohol without her husband’s presence if the application has been approved. It is a non transferable license and cannot be used by any other person other than whose name and photo is on the chip.

    - The monthly allowance limit is based solely on salary, age, job title and size of the family applying and can only be used once approved. it is valid for one year only and you must reapply with all the required documentation again to obtain a renewal. Muslims are forbidden to apply, and residence visas are required again. You must also earn a minimum monthly salary of 3000 AED and need to be above the age of 21.

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    The fees for the license is as follows:

    - The annual cost for a liquor license in Dubai is 160 AED
    - The cost to renew your license at the end of the year is also 160 AED

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    Where to buy alcohol in Dubai. Only the license holder is allowed to purchase alcohol and may do so at any branches of the AnE or MMI through the city of Dubai. Once you have your registered and approved liquor license you will not need any other documentation to purchase alcohol and simply need to show your license to the store when purchasing. Also be warned that a municipality tax of 30 % is added on the price of all alcoholic beverages sold in the shop whether wine, spirits, beer or liquor. Both AnE and MMI stock vast supplies of almost any kind of alcoholic drink that you can find in most major American or European establishments.

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    Locations of branches to purchase alcohol and phone numbers have been included so that you may find the nearest location to your residence and save yourself some running around town.

    - Al karama
    Phone number:+971 4 334 8056

    - Al karma
    Phone number: +971 4 335 1722

    - Al Wasl
    Phone number:+971 4 394 2672
    Phone number: +971 4 394 0351

    - Arabian Ranches
    Phone number: +971 4 360 6620

    - Bur Dubai
    Phone number: +971 4 393 4361
    Phone number: +971 4 352 4521

    - Deira
    Phone number: +971 4 294 0390
    Phone number: +971 4 222 2666

    - Green Community
    Phone number: +971 4 885 4550

    - Jumeira
    Phone number: +971 4 349 0246

    - Ibn Battuta Mall
    Phone number: +971 4 368 5626

    - Marina
    Phone number: +971 4 368 3981

    - Mall Of Emirates
    Phone number: +971 4 341 0371

    - Mirdif
    Phone number: +971 4 288 2715

    - Sheikh Zayed Road
    Phone number: +971 4 321 1223

    - Ras Al Khaimah
    Phone number: +971 7 236 334

    - Silicon Oasis
    Phone number: +971 4 326 4583

    - Trade Centre Road
    Phone number: +971 4 352 3091

    - Cellar Saver MMI
    Phone number: +971 7 244 7403

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